Tsunami Funds Disbursed
The $965,555 collected by CNEWA for south Indian victims of the December 2004 tsunami has been disbursed, reported Thomas M. Varghese, Regional Director for India. The funds were used to build permanent housing for 163 families, care for children, including those orphaned by the disaster, and restore jobs lost. Not one cent was utilized for administration costs or overhead.More is needed. Mr. Varghese has identified additional projects costing $517,402. These include the construction of 64 houses, equipping 650 fishermen, and the installation of a drip irrigation system, two water purification plants and 130 compost pits.
And the Winner Is
The Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada conferred seven awards on ONE magazine at the CPAs annual convention in May, held this year in Nashville, Tennessee. On awarding the bimonthly first place for general excellence, the judges wrote, The topics, photography, typography and writing all come together to reinforce CNEWAs stated mission.
ONE also won awards for best feature writing, photography and photo essay.
Beach Party Benefit
An orphanage in India will soon have clean water, thanks to the efforts of a school in Connecticut. Naomi Macari, a teacher at St. Lawrence School in Shelton, sponsors a young girl at St. Josephs Orphanage in Brahmakulam, Kerala. She learned that an orphanage in Kerala needed a water treatment system; the residents had become ill due to contaminated water. She was shocked to learn that the facility was St. Josephs, home to her sponsored child.
Mrs. Macari organized a schoolwide fund-raiser around a beach theme. Guessing the number of seashells in a jar, designing beach hats and beach towels and a scavenger hunt were all part of the fun. The week culminated in a Boardwalk on the Beach Party for family and friends. The school surpassed its goal, raising more than $11,000 with the help of an anonymous donor.
The students, Mrs. Macari said, not only enjoyed the activities, but witnessed their faith in action and experienced the joy that comes from helping those in need.
New Status for Eparchy
Cyril Mar Baselios, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, has raised the Eparchy of Tiruvalla to a metropolitan see, placing the eparchies of Bathery and Muvattupuzha as its suffragans. Having consulted the Holy See and with the consent of the Syro-Malankara synod of bishops, Mar Baselios named Tiruvallas eparch (or bishop), Isaac Mar Cleemis, Metropolitan Archbishop.
The Archeparchy of Tiruvalla numbers some 36,000 people in 133 parishes and chapels led by 230 priests and an estimated 260 men and women religious.
This spring, Msgr. Robert L. Stern, Secretary General, participated in two U.S. national level Jewish-Catholic dialogues.
Co-chaired by CNEWAs Vice President, Cardinal William H. Keeler of Baltimore, the dialogue between the National Council of Synagogues (Conservative and Reformed congregations) and the U.S. Bishops Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs took place on 22 May at New Yorks Hebrew Union College. On 14 June, the committee met with the Rabbinical Council of America-Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations at its New York headquarters.
On 30-31 May, Chorbishop John D. Faris, Associate Secretary General, participated in the U.S. Oriental Orthodox-Catholic Consultation held at Cardinal Spellman Retreat House in Riverdale, New York. He later took part in the 70th North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, 5-7 June.
Emergency Aid Needed
Aggravated by the imposition of sanctions, Palestines grim economy continues to deteriorate, affecting the most vulnerable members of society, especially expectant mothers, children and the elderly.
CNEWAs Jerusalem staff, in conjunction with the local church, is intensifying its efforts to alleviate poverty.
CNEWA-supported programs in Palestine include medical care to expectant mothers and their children in Gaza, a densely populated and impoverished strip crippled by sanctions.
CNEWAs job creation program, particularly in the West Bank communities of Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour and Ramallah, provides hundreds with employment and income, bolstering family and community life.